Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Artist of the Week

Jose Garibaldi

The ability to allow your surroundings to immediately affect your creative production, enables the product to become a piece of it's environment and not just a piece of art. To allow the beat and the flow of a Dj's set to work through you in the creation of art is an amazing skill, but one that Chicago-based artist Jose Garibaldi has become very comfortable with demonstrating. Just imagine, a packed club, a large white canvas empty and waiting, two turntables and a microphone, and the Dj walks out, the crowd goes crazy as the beat drops, and you to the side of the stage splashing colors on the downbeat. What will come out of the show is never know until it is all over, and the artist standing there with several pieces representing the entire culture and the culmination of hip-hop and art.

Jose is not simply a live artist he is also involved in several other creative areas. He is an amazing illustrator and cartoonists, creating images for several comic books including "Imitating Life" for the Project: Romantic book from Adhouse Books.

Jose recently answered a few our questions regarding art, hip-hop, and more.

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your style of painting?
Jose Garibaldi (JG): I always suck as describing my work. I don't paint as much as I illustrate and draw cartoons, so I guess a lot of that carries over when I paint. I try to get a little more expressive when I paint, but still remain heavy on using characters. They usually involve a girl and some lovelorn male character.... Or ghosts and skulls.

OA: When you are on-stage creating a live piece, how does the music affect you and the piece?
JG: Music is very important in what I'm creating. Since I don't plan and don't really think about what to paint before I get up, I'm inspired by the vibe. When The Analog Addicts (Pickel, MTM, Daryl Diggs, J.Lee, Jamie, Asif) and The Comeups Soundsystem (Intel, Maker, Pickel) deejay, it's more of a party vibe, so my work is more on the fun side as I get loose while I paint. When I paint while someone like Tony Trimm is deejaying, it's more of a mellow tone, so I take my time and get a little more detailed. I've had bands that have asked me to paint while they play, but even though their music is good I just can't get into it and end up painting crap.... I usually stick to my set of deejays and artists.

OA: Of the musicians that you have worked with who was the most memorable and why?
JG: MF Doom at the Metro in 04 was pretty memorable, since that was my first big art show. I think I'd done only one small party prior, so when I was on stage at the Metro, I turned around to a sea of people watching me. That was a rush.
Z-trip at the Metro in 06 was probably my favorite. It was the right blend of deejays and mc's. Jean Grae, Pugslee Atomz, Dynamic Vibrations, the Comeups opening. Plus it was Revise and I painting some dope art. Z-trip is probably the greatest party dj. It turned into a big dance party at the end. Good times! (The picture below is from that Z-Trip show.)

OA: What is your typical starting point for a new piece and how long does it take you to complete that piece? On-stage or at home?
JG: On stage, I just get into it once the music starts. I'll lay down a wash and try to build towards something (hopefully) good. Many times I switch directions because I'll get an idea while I'm painting. Sometimes the drips and random nature of the wash will create a shape that resembles, for example, a face or a character. I'll work with it. With live art, I usually do a couple pieces, sometimes only one big piece. My homies Dave Crosland, Jim Mahfood and Mike Huddleston always blow me away. I'll finish one piece to find they've already rocked four...

I don't paint as much when I'm home. I'll do the occasional gallery piece. My illustration work is drawn out, scanned and colored in Photoshop. At times I'll paint the backgrounds for these images. When I do work on a painted piece, I'm more careful. I work it out as a sketch, draw it then transfer it. It's more laid back at home, so I take my time, a few days maybe. The art is much tighter than the live stuff....

OA: What’s next for Jose Garibaldi (i.e. exhibitions, performances, etc.)?
JG: I have a lot planned for this year. Live art wise, I'm painting in St. Louis on March 30th, Chicago on April 1st and 5th. People can always keep up with when and where I'm painting (and where I'm getting into trouble) on myspace at .I also keep a blog there where I post sketches and new drawings. As we do every year, this summer we'll have the big live art jam during the Wizard World convention.

Hopefully I'll have everything together for some t-shirts from . That's another one of my crews.

I have two pages in an upcoming issue of Mad Magazine. Don't know when that's coming out exactly, but I'll get the word out as soon as I find out.

I'm working on setting up a collaborative art (gallery) show with extremely dope artist Mike Huddleston, for this summer (I hope).

The project I'm most excited about is the one I'm currently working on. It's going to be an online magazine featuring my comics, illustrations, paintings and character designs. I'm still not set on a title for it, but it will contain short stories ( Deeds, Beastman, Wild Hunch, Scam!) along with the serialization of my graphic novel, Teen Heaven. All my stuff under one cover.

Folks can also check out my website to see what I'm up to.

Bonus Questions: (The painting above is a collaborative piece with Revise CMW for 10/20 Impaired Visions show in Milwaukee, WI 2006 and is available for purchase)

OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
JG: I'm a cheap dude. When I drink beer, it's PBR. When I drink coffee, it's Folgers Classic Roast. I slam a glass of it everyday before I go to work. I don't go to coffee spots much, but when I do it's either Filter on Milwaukee Ave, or Marshall McGearty's right up the street from there.

OA: What is the last album you purchased?
JG: Trying to remember... On wax, it might be Patrice Rushen- Straight From The Heart. On CD- probably Chromeo- Ce Soir On Danse, a dope as mix of obscure 80's funk/club jams.


Chef Pops said...

Man, I was in the back seat of Mike Bianco's car one time, and Jose Garibaldi was riding shotgun. We all worked together, and it was one of those special sunny Summer lunchtimes, you know what I mean? Anywayz, the Beasties came up on the car radio, and Mike gives the volume knob a loving twist. Suddenly, everything was grooving. Jose and Mike were sanging along, even the car was bumping along like something out of a Fleischer cartoon. Then Garibaldi slips one shoe and sock off, puts it on his hand to create a make-shift stink puppet, and raps a Mike D duet with the puppet. It was, to this day, one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. If you ain't hip to the Wunnerful world of Jose, you need to check the man out, furreals.

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